By Heather Agun, Edited by Stephen Waltar and Becky Pearsall
*Created under the direct legal supervision of Stephen Waltar
This article is not intended to be legal or relationship advice. Please also see Disclaimer.
Our Estate Planning clients in Bellevue ask us all the time how they can help someone else get started with estate planning. Often, clients learn how important estate planning is and want advice on educating others. Other times, clients want to tell their friends and families to get started on an estate plan simply because they know it’s the responsible thing to do. There are also times when people have significant concerns about a loved one’s situation and are eager to help them fix it.
Regardless of your reasons, this post shares some ways our clients have had success in sharing about estate planning with others.
We’ve also planned a special Friends and Family Estate Planning Workshop on December 5th, 2019, that you can invite your loved ones to. You can learn more about it at the end of this post or on our seminars page.
Talk About Your Own Experience
It often seems that the easiest way to bring up an out-of-the norm topic is to share about your own experiences. In doing this, you can share details about your life with someone you care about, and also explain practical reasons why everyone should have some kind of estate plan in place.
It helps to share your motivation for estate planning. If you experienced a lot of relief when you got your plan done, tell them about it. Or, if you weren’t concerned about it until you learned more about the laws, tell them what information compelled you to action.
Check out our article: 3 Major Motivations for Estate Planning
Next time you chat, try just sharing about your own experience of creating a Will or Trust. Telling someone about what happened when you went in to see an estate planning attorney, and what you learned, creates an easy opportunity to help them get started.
Another great way to get people’s wheels turning is by telling interesting and relevant stories. Did a story from one of our seminars stand out to you? Or do you know someone whose situation is worth sharing that could get your loved ones thinking about their own situation? I know I’ve shared a few stories from our seminars, or ones I read about, with friends and family just because they were interesting or compelling.
There are also situations where you might have a serious concern about a specific loved one’s situation, and we understand that being blunt about such things is not right for every relationship. Stories are a great way to break down communication barriers and get across to people in situations like this.
Be Honest and Tactful
Other times, honesty is the best policy! A lot of people refer us to their friends and family because they just know that estate planning is important, and planning ahead is the responsible thing to do. However, we also see situations where family members had a more serious concern that compelled them to have a heart-to-heart about why they needed to do something about their estate plan.
You may have heard the famous quote “honesty without compassion is cruelty,” reminding us to be mindful of how we present our honest opinions. This is great to remember when approaching a loved one in a difficult situation. If you’re concerned about their health, their children, the integrity of a close acquaintance, or something else, brainstorm ways to share honestly about your concerns while being respectful of their feelings and beliefs. Sometimes it can help to seek advice of others who know you and the situation well. Our Attorneys are also trained to help in these situations.
Invite them to a free Estate Planning Seminar
You can also invite them to an estate planning seminar! Our firm regularly holds seminars to educate the public about estate planning in Bellevue, and you can check our website or call our firm to see if we have one coming up. We often treat guests to dinner or brunch and offer an interesting and educational presentation on estate planning.
We also have a special holiday Friends and Family Estate Planning Workshop coming up on December 5th, 2019. We’ve never done an event like this before, but have had so many requests for a way to introduce Estate Planning in Bellevue to their friends and family that we knew we had to create this event.
More about the Friends and Family Workshop on Estate Planning in Bellevue
Through the end of the year, we’ll offer a 20% discount on Estate Planning services to those who attend the Friends and Family Workshop. If they can’t make it to the seminar but still want to meet, they can still receive a free consultation and a 15% discount if they schedule an appointment before the end of the year. Make sure they reference the Friends and Family special holiday event when they call. (If you’ve attended our previous seminars, you know we’ve never offered more than a 5% discount. However, we’ve had a great year; so this holiday season we’re excited about giving back to our clients and their families!)
- Who can attend: non-clients who haven’t attended a seminar in the last year, AND haven’t been to more than 2 seminars are eligible to attend.
- How to register: follow this link to the registration page
- Who you should invite: Anyone in your life you think could benefit from learning about estate planning.
- Savings they’ll be eligible for: A 20% discount on Estate Planning services for seminar attendees. A 15% discount is available for those who want to plan but can’t make it to the seminar. (Law isn’t the kind of service that “goes on sale.” We’ve NEVER offered this discount for seminars before, but feel very motivated to give back this holiday season. Make sure your friends and family get in by the end of the year so they don’t miss this!)
- What they’ll learn:
- Why putting property in children’s names may be a mistake
- The advantages and disadvantages of Wills and Living Trusts
- How Probate works, and how you may be able to avoid it
- The right way to leave property to your children and protect it from their creditors and ex-spouses
- How you may be able to minimize Federal and Washington estate taxes
- How to protect assets from lawsuits, divorces and other claims
- How to provide for special needs children and grandchildren
- How to make certain the State won’t lien your house for your long-term care
See other upcoming events on our event page, or learn about our special client event Trustee School